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2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Overview

The C-Class has long been Mercedes’s entry-level car in the United States, and though that has changed in recent years, the car remains one of the automaker’s most popular models. Mercedes offers the car in three body styles, including a sedan, a coupe, and a convertible. Updates for 2021 are slim but include standard heated front seats and a digital gauge cluster for all C-Class models. A new C-Class is expected in 2023 or 2024 and should feature semi-autonomous driving features, a mild-hybrid powertrain, and revised styling.

Mercedes counts the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, and the Genesis G70 among its main rivals. Standard C-Class cars come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a cracking nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Buyers can add all-wheel drive for an upcharge.

Two AMG-tuned variants are available. The first is the C43, which comes as a coupe or a convertible. It’s powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that produces 385 horsepower and delivers a 4.1-second 0-60 mph time. The C63 gets a hand-built twin-turbo V8 that makes either 469 or 503 horsepower, depending on the model.

Though it provides decent acceleration and power, the standard C-Class’s four-cylinder engine is nothing to write home about. There’s enough grunt for almost any driving situation, but the engine lacks excitement and makes an off-putting sound under heavy throttle. The two AMG models are far more powerful and are obviously quicker than the standard C-Class, but both are far more expensive and both drink much more fuel.

The C300 offers confidence-inspiring handling and maintains a comfortable ride throughout. Both AMG cars are considerably sharper and more capable of being driven hard in challenging situations. Sport suspension and large wheels with low-profile tires give the AMG cars a less comfortable ride in most situations, but neither model is unbearable.

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class earned a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The award includes “Good” scores in all crash test categories, a “Good,” “Acceptable,” or “Marginal” score for headlights, depending on the model, “Superior” scores for standard vehicle-to-vehicle crash prevention, and a “Basic” score for vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention. Standard safety tech includes automatic emergency braking, lane-departure alerts, and lane-keep assist. Mercedes offers several driver assists as optional equipment, including blind-spot warnings with rear cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control, and more.

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is on sale now and features a starting price of $42,650 for the sedan model. The Coupe starts at $48,250, and the Cabriolet starts at $55,750. The C43 AMG starts at $61,550, and the C63 starts at $69,650. It’s worth noting that, like many premium vehicles, the C-Class can be optioned with features that drive its price tag up quickly.


Chris is an automotive journalist covering new vehicle reveals, news, and technology. He loves digging into the details to tell entertaining and informative stories.

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